PayU research: US demand not met domestically

Wednesday 28 September 2022 11:55 CET | News

Online payment service provider operating in 50 emerging markets, PayU, has recently released its latest survey on the US customers, focusing on driving cross-border payments adoption in the country.


According to the survey, there have been both obstacles and opportunities for international merchants, given that more than half (53%) of Americans who have purchased online goods and services in 2021 have done so from China. This doesn’t only represent a big opportunity for international merchants to capitalise but also a concern as many of the customers’ needs cannot be met domestically.

Key findings of the survey

With almost 330 million people in the country, US is one of the largest and most profitable markets for both newcomers and established brands, be them local or international. According to statistics, online shopping continues to grow and has already hit a global market size of USD 4 trillion in 2020 alone. In the US, it is expected to have 300 million online shoppers in 2023, which shows a huge interest for products and services that can conveniently be shipped at a preferred address, rather than spending time in physical stores. 

Out of all the people who have purchased from online retailers based abroad, 48% chose to do so at least once a month, according to PayU’s survey. And, aside from China, the preferred destination markets for abroad shopping are Europe, Canada, Southeast Asia, and LATAM.

An interesting view of American shoppers comes from the fact that only 26% of the interviewed people claim they should have supported local stores in the detriment of abroad ones, even though the country was severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and thousands of SMEs and local shops closed permanently. 

So, what drives Americans to seek for international retailers as opposed to local ones? The price convenience is a major factor although 30% of those who chose not to shop abroad claimed they did so because they felt they could have all their shopping needs satisfied from US-based retailers. These two different points of view reveal a major opportunity for international merchants who want to get a slice of the US market and compete with large retailers like Amazon, Target, BestBuy, and Walmart.

The main reasons why some shoppers are still reluctant to buying from online retailers located outside the US include high delivery costs, including taxes, as well as complicated return policies and similar products that could be purchased nationwide.

Among the most popular items purchased online by American shoppers we can include fashion, shoes bags, electronics, books, toys, and DIY kits.

Online payment service provider operating in 50 emerging markets, PayU, has recently released its latest survey on the US customers, focusing on driving cross-border payments adoption in the country. 


Flexibility in payment methods is the key for US shoppers

The survey conducted by PayU has also revealed that having multiple payment methods is mandatory for American consumers when it comes to buying abroad, with 55% of the surveyed mentioning they would look elsewhere if their preferred payment method wasn’t available.

Additionally, almost three thirds of the respondents (73%) mentioned they would feel safer making online purchases – both domestic and abroad – if they recognised the brand of the payment service provider. Moreover, customers are less keen to use alternative payment methods like Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) for international purchases, as most of them have a relatively low total purchase average.

55% of Americans still prefer shopping with their credit cards, especially when handling international retailers. 

Free Headlines in your E-mail

Every day we send out a free e-mail with the most important headlines of the last 24 hours.

Subscribe now

Keywords: survey, online shopping, shopping, online platform, ecommerce, ecommerce platform, local payment method, BNPL, credit card, PSP, online payments
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: PayU
Countries: United States
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


Discover all the Company news on PayU and other articles related to PayU in The Paypers News, Reports, and insights on the payments and fintech industry: